Knowledge generated in partnership with the public and policymakers is more likely to be useful to society and should be encouraged.
Co-production of research
From people with HIV selecting which trials get funded to smallholder farmers guiding weather monitoring, the people affected by research are increasingly getting involved in it. They are shaping how projects are conceived, supported, done, reviewed, disseminated and rated — as partners in research. This special issue looks at the promise and the pitfalls of research coproduction for the societies, stakeholders and scientists now working shoulder to shoulder.
As one advocate describes it: “It’s about getting everybody round the table so you’re valuing the knowledge everybody has.”
The people who should benefit from research are increasingly shaping how it’s done.
Three examples show how public participation in research can be extended at every step of the process to generate useful knowledge.
To assess whether research is relevant to society, ask the stakeholders, say Catherine Durose, Liz Richardson and Beth Perry.
To make my research more useful for people deciding how to plant crops and prevent flood damage, I asked for their help, says Carolina Vera.
Nature talks to co-production expert Tina Coldham about how involving the public in decision-making can help scientists to broaden their reach and improve their research.